Monday, 8 March 2010

High Peak Marathon - 5 March

Team: “Simon Triger Memorial Speed Fest”

In the summer of 2009 as I was thinking about starting another blog I had 2 or 3 ideas I wanted to use to develop and guide a new blog. I didn’t want another “training blog” – they are helpful, I think, but too narrowly focused and reach a natural end in either success or failure. I did want, however, to share our love of days in the hills and to use more photographs. Finally, of course, I needed a title that would stand the test of time, have some originality and not be too difficult to remember. “Just Us and a few friends” seems to meet all three requirements along with the bonus of just a hint of ambiguity about the few friends. Perhaps most obviously the few friends could be the others we go to the hills with but my original intention was that the few friends would be the fells themselves. For as long as I can remember, I have considered hills to be friends, places to visit more than once (even if a “tick-list” was the purpose of the first visit) and places to respect. Travelling the hills safely, especially in winter, requires some skills and respect for the conditions but, tragically, even the utmost respect, experience and mastery of these skills isn’t always enough.
In September 2008 Simon Triger was caught by a severe storm high on Mont Blanc and died before rescuers could reach him (Daily Telegraph). Simon was a member of Westerlands CCC (Tribute) who had run the HPM a number of times. For the 2010 race Mark organised the “Simon Triger Memorial Speed Fest” team (“Speed Fest” being the exact opposite of fell running, for most of us). Injuries took their toll on the original team and the places were filled by Andy, Helen and myself to produce an “all Rucksack Club, mixed, vets” (but not necessarily competitive) team. Of the four of us, only Mark had known Simon and I found it a sobering experience reading the many tributes and realising again that when you “take to the hills” there isn’t a script saying you will get down safely, or alive.
It was a very pleasant surprise to meet Simon’s Mum, Jennie and Mike Lynch late on Friday night in the hall before the start of the race.
High Peak Marathon - 001 Andy & Helen with Simon’s Mum, Jennie & (most of) Mike Lynch before the start
High Peak Marathon - 002 Mark, Andy, Helen & self ready for an “All-Nighter in the Peak”
Team photo at 03:51 – it seemed a good idea at the time
HPM-101 Most of Team Rach after breakfast at Snake Pass summit
High Peak Marathon - 004Almost monochrome below Kinder as Helen starts the last proper climb
High Peak Marathon - 005South west towards Hayfield and lower snow free slopes 
High Peak Marathon - 006 Team Rach climbing Kinder
Conditions through Friday night were benign and despite being not quite cold enough to freeze the ground we made good progress. Dawn broke grey, grim and wet on Bleaklow. Our “reasonable pace” began to flag a bit before we finally made it back to Edale after about 42 miles in  13:32:31 and in 28th place.


  1. Now *THAT'S* an adventure race! Where do I sign up?

  2. sounds like a very fitting tribute to simon.

    i've just remembered why we're laughing so much in that photo-pretending to run for the camera!

  3. What a great way to spend the night with friends! And is that a Buffalo shirt I spy?

  4. Buffalo shirt is a real favourite bit of (cold) winter gear.

  5. Kate, maybe it was because of your laughing but twice I failed to get all 4 of you in the photo!

  6. Ian - fine words & great pics, very much in keeping with your brilliant standards! I guess it's time to start training for next years outing....HHHHHHmmmmmmPPPPPmmmmph! AndyH RCP!

  7. Thanks Andy - lots of fun again!